Highway or my way: How states are getting around SC's liquor ban

The Supreme Court bench had expressed displeasure over the alleged inaction by various states in removing liquor shops along the roads which give rise to drunken driving and consequential fatalities (See: Supreme Court directs closure of all liquor shops along highways). The ban also has a direct effect on tourism the states have contended. But this too will cause a major dent in the state exchequer, he said. The distance relaxation was also extended to hill states of Sikkim, Meghalaya and Himachal Pradesh. In Nashik, around 700 liquor shops, bars and permit rooms within 500 metres from the highways will have to close doors from Saturday. The Indian hospitality industry has government intervention to seek a way out of the ban as many five-star hotels, restaurant and pubs have stopped serving liquor.

Telangana had issued licences in November 2016, less than a month before the Supreme Court order was passed.

Earlier on Thursday, the Supreme Court had reserved its order on a batch of petitions - both by some states and private parties - seeking modification of its order banning liquor vendors along national and state highways. The state is also thinking of pushing some vends further than 500 metres from highways.

The team then stopped at Samalkha near Panipat, where again a liquor shop was operating barely 100 metres from the highway, right next to a popular dhaba. Sources in the excise department said the government has already denotified some highway stretches in a few district headquarters. In Jharkhand, the state government has begun a crackdown on liquor shops.

According to an industry body estimate, the collective revenue loss from the ban could around Rs 50,000 crore.

Panaji: The Goa government is assessing the impact of the Supreme Court order banning liquor vends on national and state highways. These include Goa, Rajasthan, and union territories of Daman and Diu.

Several pubs and bars located in Cyber Hub, Sector 29 and premier hotels like the Leela, Trident, Oberoi and Westin have not been able to sell liquor because of proximity to the NH-8.

  • Salvatore Jensen